Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier has said that the farmer-owned New Zealand co-op is in a good position for continued purchases after a year of acquisitions and record milk production.
Since losing a bidding duel last year with Philippine brewer San Miguel for Australia’s largest processor, National Foods, Fonterra has bought the Anchor and Fresh ‘n Fruity brands and Kapiti Fine Foods in New Zealand. It also purchased the remaining 50% of Australia’s Bonlac it didn’t own and secured 43% of Shijiazhuang San Lu in China.
The NZD465m (US$296.36m) generated by the sale of its National Foods shares to San Miguel partially funded the strategic spree.
The company now accounts for 18% milk production in Australia and has integrated its interests there under the Fonterra name.
Possible future targets range from Australian industry heavyweight Dairy Farmers, which is expected to list on the Australian stock market next year, to industry minnow Norco, which has 200 suppliers and has just agreed to provide fresh milk to Fonterra.
Fonterra achieved NZD10.8bn in sales in the past year through exports to 120 countries and record production of 1210 million kilograms of milk solids.